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Posts by: Narratively

These Cannabis Farmers Carry Out an Ancient Tradition High in the Himalayas

A woman and her granddaughter walk back from the cannabis fields. Many farmers move to the fields with the entire family for the harvesting month.

Approximately 8,900 feet above sea level, perched high in the Himalayas among jagged snow-capped peaks, is a small Indian village overlooking a valley. It has a population of about 800 people and can only be reached on foot. It is a three-hour hike from a drivable road along a steep path up the mountain. Photographer Andrea de Franciscis and reporter Maria Tavernini traveled here to document this place where ganja grows wild.

Nightmare-Inducing Images of Voodoo Masters in Dakar

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A dark alley in Dakar lit by the high beams of a passing car, near the house of the marabout.

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A boy points at the house of the marabout, a Voodoo spiritual guide.

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A marabout cuts his tongue as a demonstration of his power and magic.

The dusty alleys of Dakar are almost empty at dusk. People rush home like fast shadows before the evil spirits come out at night. The city, lit by a timid moonlight, feels timeless. A common refrain here is, “During the day you’ll see Islam, but at night you’ll find Voodoo.” In predominantly Muslim Senegal, Voodoo is widespread, condemned by the Qu’ran but practiced in secret by many people. While they praise Allah everyday, many also believe in the power of black magic, potions, spells and charms.

But almost no one in Senegal would openly admit that he or she practices Voodoo. When asked directions for the house of the marabout (spiritual teacher), no one in the immediate neighborhood seems to know who he is or where he lives. A boy points at the wooden door of a small house hidden in the dark.

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